Ashland combines key positions to save money

ASHLAND, Ore.– Ashland’s financial budget issues are causing the city administration to combine two key positions in order to save costs.

Ashland City Administrator Kelly Madding is taking on the job of finance director for the remainder of this biennium. The Ashland City Council unanimously voted to compensate Madding for the extra work she’s taking on.

They voted on a raise – capped at 5 percent – or about $12,500 annually. The position is meant to be temporary which many councilors stressed – some calling it a slippery slope to incentivize others to take on extra work while others were concerned about one city employee having too much authority.

“As long as it’s temporary and we start thinking about how we’re going to fill that position,” said Councilor Julie Akins. “How we’re not going to have that consolidation of power that concerns me, how we’re going to have that diversity of voice and opinion and creativity – I definitely want that for the future.”

Councilor Akins says she doesn’t believe Madding has any ill or deceptive intentions. Councilors said Madding even made a point to defer the raise until a policy is made on combining full-time positions. It’s unknown when such a policy will be drafted and brought back to the city council. Akins says taking on two high-profile positions is a lot for anyone.

“We don’t want to have a situation where you have one person doing too many jobs,” said Akins. “It’s just not good for anybody. It’s not good for her mental well being and her stamina.”

NBC5 News reached out to Madding for comment but did not receive a callback.

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